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Golden Nugget has a new exclusive slot in its gaming library, ready for you to take the helm and set out into the galaxy to destroy evil starships. Titled Raiden V, this new game has several unique features and a definite Star Wars-like theme.
Will your starships bring glory and great payout or destroy all hopes of adding to your bankroll?
Let’s find out.
Overview: Raiden V
Raiden V is based off the arcade shooting game Raiden, a popular series back in the 1990s. In 2016, a 25th-anniversary edition of the arcade game debuted called Raiden V. This online slot is based on that anniversary edition, where Earth is battling for its future.
This slot, from game developer Spin Games, makes use of the series’ starships and weapons in new and unique ways, featuring a Cascade feature that is somewhat confusing but fruitful, a weapons spinner (that includes the very best bomb), and a free spins bonus.
Who will Raiden V appeal to?
Given the popularity of the Raiden arcade game and its resurrection a few years ago, both contemporary and nostalgic gamers will appreciate the take on the video game. As will gamers who play any type of starship battle arcade-style games. There’s also a wide margin of betting, from 20 cents up to $400, so it will appeal to both low- and high-stakes players.
Gameplay: Raiden V
You’ll start by setting your bet denomination and multiplier. To do this, click on the three circles on the lower right of your screen. (This brings up a map that includes bet settings, sound settings, game settings.) You can slide your denomination from 1 cent to $1, while the multiplier ranges from 1 to 20. The number of lines you are betting is fixed at 20. This means you can bet from 20 cents to $400.
Your game is played on a 5×3 reel set; 5 reels that are only three rows high (rather than the more typical 5×5). Base symbols include five spaceships that are two rows high and six spaceships that fill a single space on the reels, plus a wild and a Raiden V Scatter symbol.
Now it’s time to hit the spin button and look for a winning payline.
As an alternative to the Spin button, you can go into the Game Settings and utilize Autoplay. Autoplay allows you to choose between zero and 500 spins at a time. It also allows you the options of Turbo mode. With turbo mode you can dispense with the prolonged line win explanations and get on with the next spin. (I highly recommend that you get used to the game and how it works before using the Turbo mode.)
While you are in Game Settings, you might also want to check out the unique right-hand/left-hand mode. This is one of the only games I’ve ever seen with this feature, and it allows lefties to play more easily, particularly on a desktop with a mouse. It also comes in handy for righties when they play for hours on end and need to give the right hand a break.
Special features: Raiden V
As the reels spin, the weapon spinner to the right of the reels determines your weapon color. It will either be a blue laser, red Vulcan or purple plasma. If you spin a line win and at least one symbol has a frame color matching your weapon color, then the cascade feature starts.
During the feature, all symbols with that colored frame explode (whether or not they occurred on the payline) and new symbols drop into the spaces. A new weapon color is determined as the reel spins and the same thing can happen again. This is much like tumbling reels, but it is tied to the weapon color, a unique feature.
This feature also has a multiplier function. For every four symbols removed, one additional multiplier is added to your next win. There’s a multiplier bar at the upper right of your screen that tracks this.
Should the weapon spinner land on a bomb and you get a line win, then all symbols other than scatters are removed. Wilds do not get destroyed by the weapon spinner as they have no frame, so they remain while the cascade feature is in play, helping to secure further wins.
Free spins bonus
The free games bonus is triggered by three or more Raiden V Scatter symbols occurring on your reels. You’ll start with 15 games, which are retriggerable. The weapon spinner is not in play during this round, hence no cascading reels.
This can make for quite a few wins on one spin, and as the multiplier increases, so do those wins.
Free spins bonus
By removing the Weapons Spinner element, you have much cleaner and defined wins, and it’s not hard to get respins, which can make for some great payouts.
Graphics are not well defined
I found the game to be hard to follow because it was difficult to distinguish between symbols due to the design/coloration of the starships and added frame around them. The color of the frame had nothing to do with the symbol itself and a line win with three of the same symbols might have three different color frames around them. So you’re trying to look for a line win, then the Weapon Spinner kicks in and blows up symbols before you can even figure out what is going on. And most of the symbols that get blown up aren’t even part of the line win. They’re randomly scattered across the board and blown up due to the color of their frame.
Only three rows high
With only three rows, rather than the more typical 5, it can be a bit difficult to hit payline wins, particularly with the 2-row-high symbols.
Graphics and soundtrack: 2.5/5
Graphics feel somewhat muddy. The starships are multicolored and almost look drawn with a colored pencil. Because each one has the same starry background, it’s often hard to distinguish one from another, particularly upon first glance.
The soundtrack during spins is reminiscent of a Star Wars theme, with metallic sounds occurring when you end your spin. There are also some special sound effects when you land the Scatter symbol or a win, and when the Cascade feature occurs.
Originality and creativity: 3.5/5
This is a creative take on the arcade game it’s based on. Cascading or Tumbling Reels are much more common these days, but Raiden 5 takes it a step further, making it unique. I’m also appreciative of the right hand/left hand feature they’ve included.
Play value: 3/5
The game has a return-to-player percentage of 94.5%, which is just below the more typical 95%-96% we’re seeing on new releases. But the fact that you can have multiple wins with just one bet, and that a multiplier is in play works in the player’s favor.
Jackpot potential: 2/5
The cascading feature with a multiplier can bring about some great payouts, but there’s not a concrete way to win a jackpot, other than to bet really big. The max bet is $400, much higher than the more typical $200 or $250, and yet the jackpot is only the standard $250,000.
Repeat play: 2/5
Given the graphics and the limited bonuses and features, this wouldn’t be my first choice for repeat play. That being said, fans of this style of arcade game, and Raiden or Raiden V in particular, will probably put this in regular rotation.
Total score: 13/25
I do like the cascading feature with its weapons spinner and multiplier, but not sure that makes up for the lack of interest I had in the subject matter and the visuals, which bothered me more than any other game I’ve played in recent memory.